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Audi Files Trademarks That Hint At Redesign Of Its Iconic Four-Ring Logo
By Mikelle Leow, 14 Oct 2018
Image via Audi
If you’ve been keeping track, you’ll probably know that Audi’s current emblem is only about two years old. The German automobile company sanded away its metallic sheen to go “digital first,” with an entire branding system being unleashed this year for this purpose.
The pared-back strategy seems to be working, as a set of new trademarks have been filed in Germany and the US that appear even more simplified than the current identity.
On 2 October, Audi registered two surprising iterations of its iconic four-ring emblem, hinting at a possible logo revamp.
The first design comprises “four connected incomplete circles,” and sees the interior links between the four rings being wiped out.
The other is a little less minimal, and constitutes “four incomplete circles” with two connected ones in the middle.
There’s a good reason why Audi might have opted to further simplify its logo. Back in March, Jochen Rädecker—Managing Partner at Strichpunkt, the agency that worked on the brand’s recent overhaul—said displays keep getting smaller, which means logos have to be distinguishable no matter how tiny an interface is.
“If you wear a smartwatch there’s no space for four rings, there’s no way to use the logo in the [traditional] way, so you have to rethink branding completely.”
The stripped-down designs would also enable Audi to save a few extra cents per unit.
Another possibility is that the potential pictomarks better represent Audi’s transition to building “connected” cars, such as using 4G to alert drivers when a traffic light changes color, as suggested by Audi-focused blog Quattroworld, which discovered the trademark applications.
Audi’s signature four-ring symbol dates back 86 years ago. The enjoining circles symbolize the merger of four respective vehicle manufacturers, Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer, to create the Auto Union in 1932.
Audi’s logo (2016 to present)
Image via USPTO
Image via USPTO
[via Quattroworld, images via various sources]
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